Heavy fighting in Kyiv outskirts as Russia, Ukraine signal possibility of talks


Smoke and flames rise over through the shelling close to Kyiv, as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine on Saturday. (Gleb Garanich, Reuters)

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KYIV, Ukraine — Russian and Ukrainian forces clashed on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital on Saturday as authorities urged residents to assist defend the town from advancing Russian forces within the worst European safety disaster in a long time.

Heavy, frequent artillery hearth and intense gunfire, apparently a ways from the town heart, could possibly be heard in Kyiv within the early hours, a Reuters witness stated. The Ukrainian army stated Russian troops attacked a military base on a fundamental Kyiv avenue however the assault was repelled.

However even because the preventing grew extra intense, the Russian and Ukrainian governments signaled an openness to negotiations, providing the primary glimmer of hope for diplomacy since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion on Thursday.

“The destiny of Ukraine is being determined proper now,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated on Friday in a video handle posted to his Telegram channel. “Tonight, they’ll launch an assault. All of us should perceive what awaits us. We should stand up to this night time.”

The air drive command reported heavy preventing close to the air base at Vasylkiv southwest of the capital, which it stated was below assault from Russian paratroopers.

It additionally stated one in all its fighters had shot down a Russian transport aircraft. Reuters couldn’t independently confirm the claims.

Kyiv residents have been informed by the protection ministry to make petrol bombs to repel the invaders, as witnesses reported listening to artillery rounds and intense gunfire from the western a part of the town.


Tonight, they’ll launch an assault. … The destiny of Ukraine is being determined proper now.

–Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy


Some households cowered in shelters after Kyiv was pounded on Thursday night time by Russian missiles. Others tried desperately to get on packed trains headed west, among the a whole lot of hundreds who’ve left their houses to search out security, in response to the United Nations’ assist chief.

After weeks of warnings from Western leaders, Putin unleashed a three-pronged invasion of Ukraine from the north, east and south on Thursday, in an assault that threatened to upend Europe’s post-Chilly Conflict order.

“I as soon as once more enchantment to the army personnel of the armed forces of Ukraine: don’t enable neo-Nazis and (Ukrainian radical nationalists) to make use of your kids, wives and elders as human shields,” Putin stated at a televised assembly with Russia’s Safety Council on Friday. “Take energy into your individual fingers.”

Putin has cited the necessity to “denazify” Ukraine’s management as one in all his fundamental causes for invasion, accusing it of genocide in opposition to Russian-speakers in jap Ukraine. Kyiv and its Western allies dismiss the accusations as baseless propaganda.

‘Prepared to speak’

Western nations have introduced a barrage of sanctions on Russia, together with blacklisting its banks and banning expertise exports. However they’ve to this point stopped wanting forcing it out of the SWIFT system for worldwide financial institution funds.

America imposed sanctions on Putin, International Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Basic Employees Valery Gerasimov. The European Union and Britain earlier froze any belongings Putin and Lavrov held of their territory. Canada took comparable steps.

Nevertheless, the regular ramping-up of financial restrictions has not deterred Putin.

People gather in an air raid shelter in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday.
Folks collect in an air raid shelter in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday. (Picture: Viacheslav Ratynskyi, Reuters)

Moscow stated on Friday it had captured the Hostomel airfield northwest of the capital — a possible staging submit for an assault on Kyiv that has been fought over since Russian paratroopers landed there within the first hours of the struggle.

This might not be confirmed and Ukrainian authorities reported heavy preventing there.

However amid the chaos of struggle got here a ray of hope.

A spokesman for Zelenskyy stated Ukraine and Russia would seek the advice of in coming hours on a time and place for talks.

The Kremlin stated earlier it provided to fulfill within the Belarusian capital Minsk after Ukraine expressed a willingness to debate declaring itself a impartial nation whereas Ukraine had proposed Warsaw because the venue. That, in response to Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov, resulted in a “pause” in contacts.

“Ukraine was and stays prepared to speak a few ceasefire and peace,” Zelenskyy’s spokesman, Sergii Nykyforov, stated in a submit on Fb. “We agreed to the proposal of the President of the Russian Federation.”

However U.S. State Division spokesman Ned Value stated Russia’s provide was an try and conduct diplomacy “on the barrel of a gun” and that Putin’s army should cease bombing Ukraine if it was critical about negotiations.

Isolation

On the U.N., Russia vetoed a draft Safety Council decision that will have deplored its invasion, whereas China abstained, a transfer Western nations seen as proof of Russia’s isolation. The United Arab Emirates and India additionally abstained whereas the remaining 11 members voted in favor.

An image of what was taking place on the bottom throughout Ukraine — the most important nation in Europe after Russia — was gradual to emerge.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks alongside other Ukrainian officials in the governmental district of Kyiv, confirming that he is still in the capital, in Kyiv, Ukraine on Friday in this screengrab obtained from a handout video.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks alongside different Ukrainian officers within the governmental district of Kyiv, confirming that he’s nonetheless within the capital, in Kyiv, Ukraine on Friday on this screengrab obtained from a handout video. (Picture: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service through Reuters)

Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter that there had been heavy preventing with deaths on the entrance to the jap cities of Chernihiv and Melitopol, in addition to at Hostomel.

Witnesses stated that they had heard explosions and gunfire close to the airport in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second metropolis, near Russia’s border. Ukraine’s army stated Russian troops had been stopped with heavy losses close to the northeastern metropolis of Konotop.

There have been even have experiences of preventing close to an air base some 20 miles southwest of Kyiv.

Britain’s protection ministry stated Russian armored forces had opened a brand new route of advance in the direction of the capital after failing to take Chernihiv.

Ukraine stated greater than 1,000 Russian troopers had been killed. Russia didn’t launch casualty figures. Zelenskyy stated late on Thursday that 137 troopers and civilians been killed within the preventing, with a whole lot wounded.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to his Ukrainian counterpart and condemned reported civilian deaths, together with these of Ukrainian kids, in assaults round Kyiv, the State Division stated.

The White Home requested Congress for $6.4 billion in safety and humanitarian assist for the disaster, officers stated.

Air raid sirens wailed over Kyiv for a second day on Friday as residents sheltered in underground metro stations.

Home windows have been blasted out of a 10-story condo block close to the primary airport.

“How can we be residing via this in our time? Putin ought to burn in hell alongside along with his entire household,” stated Oxana Gulenko, sweeping damaged glass from her room.

Contributing: Aleksandar Vasovi, Alan Charlish, Fedja Grulovic, Natalia Zinets

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